I remember being a little girl sitting on the floor of our family room in the rental house…My sisters and our home-made log cabin doll houses surrounding me…The wood in the fire place popping as we played our make-believe stories.

The ugly paneled walls made the room dim, but there was light streaming in the window. And our stories came alive – stories of simpler days of Laura Ingles Wilder, of Pa, Ma and their little girls.

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My big sister and I – best friends and playmates.

We weren’t oblivious to the fact that our neighbor next door was an alcoholic or that there was a drug house down the street. We knew about pain and brokenness. Even in our own home we knew about the weight of financial difficulties or disease.

On a lot of days we delved into that brokenness around us.

Days when the severely neglected neighbor kids came to get a simple meal with us or to fix a bike with my dad.

But we had an anchor of peace in our house that made our home a haven. Jesus.

With Him at the center, we had a safe place to love, be loved and to learn and grow. A secure place for brokenness to encounter healing.

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Me and Midnight. Pets were always part of home life for my family growing up. Ironically, my husband and I have yet to get the kids even a fish!

In a culture where busyness is valued, where stay at home moms take pride in saying, “I’m hardly at home.” Don’t forget to value the walls you live in.

Your home is not a prison.  Although I know it’s easy to view it that way on some days 🙂

If you invest time in your simple abode, it can be your refuge, your children’s and husband’s place of rest and a sanctuary for the hurting.

There’s a poem called, “Home” by Edgar Guest that says,

“It takes a heap o’ livin’ to make a house a home…Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play, An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day…”

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A New Toy at Christmas. I remember this one.

The more livin’ we do in our own home; the more content we become with the simplicity of being together, playing together and working together.

American culture that prides itself on busyness – jumping from activity to activity, filling out the calendar like each event is a badge of accomplishment.

It’s easy for prehomeschool moms to feel like the “free time” of being home with littles is insignificant and should be replaced with activities and outings.

We can get caught up in going to classes, doing our coops, visiting exciting field trip destinations etc. to the point that being home is the exception and not the norm.

I struggle with this! There are so many wonderful things to do with our children! But then I look back…

I remember what it was like as a kid to feel secure knowing HOME– knowing a safe place where I could play without an adult coordinator or prescribed activity.

Homeschooling can and should look different in each family. And the amount of time at home may vary, but I’d encourage moms to make time to do some of your livin’ with your kids at home – the place where great memories can be made and free exploration can truly be at its best.

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My mom loved art and she made sure to hand down that passion to her daughters.

You may be living in a rental house in not the best part of town. You may be tucked in an apartment with a dozen other families beside you. You may have a home with your nearest neighbor miles away.

But regardless of what you have and where you live, your home can become that cozy cabin in the woods when you’re there with your little ones.

Home can be the sanctuary where your little ones can play with their toys, learn how to make things with Ma in the kitchen or listen to Bible stories on Pa’s lap.

With Jesus at the center, your home can become the much needed place where you, your family and guests can be sheltered from the bitter winter storms, the howling coyotes or the roaring grizzly.